Hadlee Simons

Will Google’s switch from APKs affect Huawei? Here’s what it says.

Huawei MatePad Pro 2021 Harmony OS

Robert Triggs / Android Authority


  • Huawei has made it clear that Google’s move to a new app format will not affect Harmony OS.
  • Google previously announced a move from APK app format to Android app bundles.

Google announced a major move to Android a few weeks ago when it became known that Android App Bundles (AAB) would replace the APK format. All new apps submitted to the Play Store from August onwards will have to use the new format, although existing apps can still use APKs for the time being.

But what does this mean for Huawei and its Harmony OS platform? Finally, Harmony OS supports APKs to run Android apps. Well, Huawei manager Wang Chenglu said the state-affiliated Global times that the new format would not affect the Harmony OS user experience or hinder development.

It’s unclear whether Huawei’s Harmony OS and HMS / Android platforms support Android app bundles, although documentation suggests that the App Gallery supports the format. We asked Huawei to clarify the support and will update the article when the company gets back to us. We hope the Chinese brand works on the support if AABs aren’t already compatible, as we could see a bigger app gap between Huawei and Google as new apps are released.

Still, it seems like the new format could make life a little more difficult for other third-party app stores and repositories as well. Developers have to manually export their app bundles as APKs if their app is to appear in alternative stores. This is a double-edged sword as developers have more control over where their app appears, but it does create some friction if you want to support more than just the Play Store.

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